Deal Diva

Smart & easy ways to save money all year long

Saving money can be easy when you think ahead and make small tweaks to your routines.
Saving money can be easy when you think ahead and make small tweaks to your routines. Getty Images/Zoonar RF

Why didn’t I think of that?

Here are a few new ways to save you may know and some you may not. Have others you would like to share? Please comment below.

If You Don’t’ see It… Talk with your Human Resource Manager and decide to send a part of your paycheck automatically to a savings account.

Don’t Pay ATM fees. Get cash back from retailers when you use your debit charge to avoid bank fees.

Be in Style in a Budget Look to Groupon or Loving Social for great deals at local hair, and nail salons. Or if you are really brave , look for local beauty school who offer free services.

Pay less for medication Next time you get a prescription, ask your healthcare provider for a 90 day supply, this can be cheaper especially if you pay a co-pay for your prescriptions. Ask for a generic alternative.

Unplug devices, and appliances when not in use. Called “ phantom power” this is the energy used even if the item id turned off. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans have anywhere between 20 and 40 devices using phantom power right now in your home! Make it easy with a surge protector.

When doing laundry think about it before you add it in the hamper. Does it really need to be laundered? Can you use cold water? Remember when buying clothes to avoid “Dry Clean only items”. Skip the dyer and try hanging items to dry.

Keep your car well maintained including regular maintenance. Be sure tires are properly inflated and that your car is not loaded down with extra items. An extra $100 pounds can increase your fuel bill by 2%

At the grocery store. Be SMART

S Skip the cart and select a basket

M Make a list and avoid spontaneous purchase

A Arrange your pantry and refrigerator in an organized way so you can determine food purchases.

R Research coupon inserts, savings websites and coupon sites to find coupons on items that you need.

T Take your coupon book with you just in case you find a hidden deal but do not buy items just because you have a coupon.

Tara McAlister is known as “The Deal Diva.” She shares shopping tips, coupon deals, and the best bargains at Charlotte area grocery stores each week. Want more great deals & savings tips? Follow the Deal Diva on Facebook - or on Twitter - @DealDivaCLT.